Second edition of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Golden League started at the High Performance Centre, University of Port Harcourt on Saturday.
The two-day event which was originally fixed for Lagos January 25 and 26, was later rescheduled for Port Harcourt due to insufficient funds.
Major events on day 1 were 100m heats, Decathlon, Heptathlon, 10,00m Women, 1500m Men and Women, 400m heat, hammer and Shot Put
Highlight of the day was in the Hammer throw where Queen Obisesan broke her 5 year record of 63.79m in Ilorin to set a new record 65.01m. The Edo-born athlete started competing at the 2009 Kada Games in the hammer and pole vault before setting a national record in 2013.
Speaking to ACLSports.com, Obisesan was excited her hardwork over the years is yielding good results.
“I am very happy to achieve this feat today in Port Harcourt. I got into this year with the mindset of doing well and breaking records.”
“Hammer is highly technical and i fell in love with hammer. I don’t think I made a mistake picking the sport. I’ll love more young athletes to get into the sport though it’s technical and tasking. One also faces the challenge of facilities, venue to train because no one will give you their football field for Hammer practise. Once there is a will there is a way.”
In the long distance race, Rose Akushio who came third at the 2017 Okpekpe 10km race emerged champion in the 10,000m race. Akushio believes if given the needed support, she would do well like the Kenyans and Ethiopians who have dominated Africa in the long distance races.
Comfort James and Sambo Ahmed won the 1500m Women and Men race. Ahmed revealed to ACLSports that his major focus is 800m but recently realised he could do the 1500m after attempting it in December at the Commonwealth camp trials in Abuja.
Meanwhile, James a 100 level student of Physical&Health Education of the University of Uyo, disclosed why she settled for long distance race.
“I was in camp for the 400m race last year but I couldn’t make it because I don’t have enough speed needed in the race.”
“Nigeria does not encourage middle or long distance athletes. I think they should support us I am sure we can do well like the Kenyans or Ethiopians just that their weather is harsh than ours and their climate is different. We can even go as far as training in their country to achieve our goal. Many athletes participate more in short distance races because they see it as a quick way to go abroad,” she said.
Top athletes like Obinna Metu, Ogho-Oghene Egwero in the 100m , Kemi Francis, Yinka Ajayi, Patience Okon George, Samson Nathaniel amongst others made it through in their respective heats in the 400m race.